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4.26.19 Your morning briefing

The information you need to start your day, from PaymentsSource and around the Web:

A big bet
PayPal plans to invest $500 million in Uber just as Uber preps terms for its IPO, according to a Friday morning LinkedIn post from PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman and an email from PayPal's public relations office.

PayPal has supported Uber payments since 2013 and is the ride-sharing app's lead payment processing partner in the U.S. and Australia, according to the PR office. The two companies intend to collaborate on payments, including the development of Uber's digital wallet.

While a globally known brand for mobile ride-sharing, Uber has also cast a broad influence over general retail with its scale and slick user experience. A partnership with PayPal could provide an added venue for PayPal to embed its user base and product range into Uber's payment flows. Venmo, for example, could tie its social P2P service to Uber's wallet, aiding Venmo's attempt to become cash flow positive.
Raising the stakes
Tencent has expanded its payments reach throughout the world via its WeChat subsidiary, and it's also making investments to bolster is corporate presence in Latin America.

Tencent has made an undisclosed investment in Uala, an Argentina-based mobile banking firm that provides its users with a prepaid card and app to transfer funds, top up mobile accounts and track payments, reports Finextra.

Uala has about 500,000 cards in circulation, and also has drawn investment from George Soros and Point72. Tencent also made a recent investment in Brazilian digital finance company Nubank.

Stability
Digital money company Wirex is partnering with technology firm Stellar to produce more than two dozen stablecoins, potentially reaching more than 2 million users and more than 5,000 businesses.

Stablecoins are designed to hedge against the volatility of cryptocurrency values, and are often part of efforts to get merchants to use cryptocurrencies such as bitcoin for retail payments.

The Wirex coins will be used for remittances, settlements, redemption and as an alternative to card networks.

Retail lab
Walmart's Long Island innovation lab is testing more retail technology, including AI cameras and interactive displays.

The store is using the cameras to monitor inventory levels, to help staff determine what items need to be replaced or replenished, reports TechCrunch. The test store, in Levittown, N.Y., is about 50,000 square feet, has more than 30,000 items and 100 employees.

The model is different than Amazon Go and other cashierless store concepts, which aim to move consumers in and out with minimal interaction, using cameras to identify items and charge consumers automatically.

PSD2 tech rush

PSD2 and other open banking movements are drawing myriad technology companies looking to gain business from banks that need to comply with the data sharing requirements of the standard.

Amsterdam-based digital money platform Volt has joined the fray with an open banking payments platform that's designed to connect fintechs, merchants and banks through and API that works around traditional networks and processors, contending it has an addressable market of more than 4,000 European banks with coverage in 14 nations.

Volt's chairman, Robert Kraal, is the co-founder of Adyen, another fintech that has partnered with merchants in an effort to bypass traditional payment networks.

From the Web

Siam Commercial Bank, PTTEP develop B2B payment system
CoinGeek | Thu April 25, 2019 - Siam Commercial Bank Company (SCB) and PTT Exploration and Production Public Company Ltd (PTTEP) announced that they have implemented a new live payment system. They will use blockchain technology to process cross-border B2B payments.

REPAY Expands into Canada
Yahoo Finance | Thu April 25, 2019 - Repay Holdings, LLC, a leading provider of vertically-integrated payment solutions announced the expansion of its integrated payment processing services into Canada. Repay will now offer its suite of payment processing solutions to the Canadian personal loans and automotive loans markets.

CheapAir Has Processed More Than 5 Million In Bitcoin Payments And Now Plans To Accept Ethereum
Forbes | Thu April 25, 2019 - CheapAir’s CEO Jeff Klee revealed in an interview that CheapAir will soon be accepting Ethereum payments for air tickets. The company was among the first travel agencies worldwide to accept Bitcoin payments for flight tickets back in 2013. Since then, CheapAir has processed crypto payments worth more than $5,000,000.

More from PaymentsSource

PayPal makes amends with eBay as it pushes for more marketplaces
PayPal has had an on-again, off-again relationship with eBay since the company split off as a unit of the e-commerce marketplace more than four years ago.

FIS plugs into Visa's distributed ledger to speed B2B transactions
Less than a day after saying it would work with large core processors in a consolidating industry, Visa has struck a deal to link its B2B platform to FIS' bank clients.

Lavu acquires MenuDrive for in-house restaurant delivery
Mobile point-of-sale provider Lavu has acquired online and mobile ordering platform MenuDrive to aid both restaurant management and online presence — and skip the costs of incorporating third-party services.

Are U.S. merchants ready for a contactless surge?
The U.S. is already very late to the party when it comes to contactless payments. But even so, there are signs that many merchants still aren't prepared for an influx of contactless cards.

Visa CEO welcomes big payments M&A with open arms
Visa’s not worried about the massive consolidation that’s sweeping the payments industry, seeing it as a force to extend payments innovation globally.

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